Maryland Weekly Fishing Report Overview | April 20, 2011

Phew! I suspect that is how many people felt after Saturday's storm that swept through the region. As the rain pounded and the wind blew and the house shook some of the words to an old Jackson Browne song danced in my head in bits and pieces about being swept before the deluge and then the lines (I actually played the album to find out). "And in attempts to understand a thing so simple and so huge, believed that they were meant to live after the deluge". Although it came in the form of wind and drenching rain instead of a flood we all woke up to a beautiful sunny but wet and still windy day on Sunday. The Conowingo Dam was running 14 gates open and the upper Potomac was at 22' earlier this week and streams, tidal rivers and bay waters are still showing the effects of flooding. Muddy water extends down the bay to just below Tilghman's Island and there is floating debris everywhere so be careful out on the bay's waters. To check the satellite imagery of the Chesapeake Bay and its major tidal rivers click to the following link.

This past weekend was a rough two days for striped bass fishermen due to strong winds that whipped the bay into frenzy. By Monday the winds had laid down and so far this week, conditions have been good. Those fishermen that have been getting out have been doing well along the western edge of the shipping channel from Cove Point to Parker's Creek , the eastern edge of the shipping channel in front of Buoy 72, Hooper's Island Light and the False Channel. Parachutes and bucktails dressed with sassy shads as well as spoons have been the favorite choices for lures trolled in tandem, single or behind umbrella rigs. Planer boards have been accounting for a lot of fish but small boat owners that are limited to trolling flat lines can still do well if they let enough line out. Shore based fishermen got into the action at traditional locations such as Sandy point State Park and Point Lookout with surf fishing gear and bottom rigs baited with bloodworms. Jimmy Whipple sent in this picture of a striped bass he caught and released while fishing off a dock in the South River.

Photo Courtesy Jimmy Whipple

The Susquehanna Flat catch and release fishery for striped bass will be on hold for a few days until the waters calm down and clear up. The striped bass are there and holding; clearer water and a little warming will improve the catch and release fishing opportunities there. Prior to the heavy rains, water temperatures were approaching the 50-degree mark and fishermen were catching and releasing large striped bass by casting crankbaits, soft plastic jigs and jerkbaits. As water levels and clarity improve in Deer Creek the hickory shad fishery there will also bounce back.

The upper Potomac River has been flooding recently and it will take at least till the weekend for water levels to return to acceptable levels for fishing. Fisheries biologist John Mullican sent in an angler's log concerning the flooding and some pictures including this one.

Photo Courtesy John Mullican

Farther down the Potomac the hickory shad run has been in full swing at Fletchers in the D.C. area. Largemouth bass fishermen in the tidal portions of the Potomac are finding water clarity issues, high water and floating debris. The creeks that feed into the Potomac often run clearer at times like this and are a good place to fish.

The lakes and reservoirs that offer fishing opportunities for largemouth bass are clearing up fast and many are already in good shape for fishing. Largemouth bass are approaching their spawning mode and in many waters they are beginning to transition into shallower areas and staging for spawning. Trout fishing in the put and take areas are already improving and fisheries biologists are busy with in season stockings. Be sure to check the spring stocking schedules on the fisheries website to find when your favorite waters are being stocked.

Fishermen in the Ocean City area are seeing water temperatures approach the 50-degree mark in the surf and inlet areas and with the warmer temperatures striped bass, tautog and flounder are beginning to be caught by fishermen. A few striped bass have been caught inside the back bay areas and shortly the northward migration of striped bass will be passing near Maryland beaches. Tautog fishing continues to improve near the inlet and a falling tide and green crab pieces or frozen sand fleas are the wining combination. The boats venturing out to the offshore wreck sites are finding large tautog and there was even talk of the season's first reports of yellowfin tuna in the Gulf Stream.

I love fishing. I can think of no greater pleasure than to sit alone toward the evening by the water and watch a float. Anton Cherhov 1896


Keith Lockwood has been writing the Fishing Report since 2003 and has had a long career as a fisheries research biologist since 1973. Over the course of his career he has studied estuarine fishery populations, ocean species, and over a decade long study of bioaccumulation of chemicals in aquatic species in New Jersey. Upon moving to Oxford on the eastern shore of Maryland; research endeavors focused on a variety of catch and release studies as well as other fisheries related research at the Cooperative Oxford Laboratory. Education and outreach to the fishing public has always been an important component to the mission of these studies. Keith is an avid outdoorsman enjoying hunting, fishing, bird dogs, family and life on the eastern shore of Maryland.

Latest Angler's Log Reports

Wayne Young
Recreational Angler
Annadale, VA
Total Reports:
Sent in on: December 18, 2014 Permalink

Calvert Cliff Speckled Trout

Type: Chesapeake
Region: Mid-Bay
Location: Breezy Pt south to Calvert Cliffs
Tags: spotted seatrout, speckled trout, striped bass

Monday, 12-15-14

20' Walkaround

Nature blessed the last day of striper season with a flat calm, making a nice day for me and my two guests. I planned to try deep trolling in 50-65 feet of water through some holes on the west side of the channel. We marked a few fish at 55-60 foot depths, but were unable to work the deep holes because several watermen were set up there. It appeared that they had crab pots set deep right in the holes and were standing by to retrieve them. Trolling east of the pots in 70 feet, we marked a few more fish deep, but no takers.

There was a fleet over behind Summer Gooses, but after moving over that way for a look see we found they were watermen, maybe mechanical oyster dredge rigs. I picked up gear in time to try the Calvert Cliffs power plant warm water discharge an hour before the predicted ebb. We marked many baitfish and eventually my Dragonfly downvision marked a school of fish on the bottom to no more than 3' off the bottom about 600-700 yards east of the discharge in about 20-25' of water. By this time, we had an 18" speckled trout on a 7" yellow hot-rodded Hogy bait, and a 15" speckled trout and a 17-1/2" striper (released) on a purple 6" BKD (blue and sliver BKD covered in red garlic dye) with a hot-rodded 1-1/2 oz jig head. A light southerly breeze had picked up creating a rip on the south side of the stream, and the fish we caught were generally over on that side of the stream. The school we marked was probably specs given fishing results. Several other boats were fishing the discharge stream with no luck.

Thanks again to Shawn Kembro's light tackle fishing tips (new book is great!) and also Walleye Pete Dahlberg for teaching me how to fish the discharge stream. Shawn's and Pete's tips made the difference today. I was using my left-handed baitcaster with braid and a short shock leader, thinking down the line technique wise. The left-handed baitcaster feels natural to this righthander after years of using spinning reels.


Caz Kenny
Recreational Angler
Total Reports:
Sent in on: December 18, 2014 Permalink

Bite Out of Control on the Gunpowder

Type: Freshwater
Region: Central
Location: Gunpowder
Tags: largemouth bass, yellow perch, crappie, bluegill

So the bite is incredibly out of control on the Gunpowder...I took two friends out today and we absolutely hammered the fish...we caught easily over 300 fish between us...bass...crappie...yellow perch...bluegill...the fish are smoking our baits...small jigs under a float are the ticket...every single place we fished held fish...the fish are healthy and fat...the water temp is a measly 38 degrees...and they are biting like piranhas...this has been an exceptional year for all places I've had the opportunity to fish...I love fishing in Maryland!


David Carrodine
Recreational Angler
Annapolis, MD
Total Reports:
Sent in on: December 18, 2014 Permalink

My Big Catch

Type: Chesapeake
Region: Mid Bay
Location: Gum Thicket
Tags: striped bass

42" rockfish caught on 4 arm umbrella rig, trolling east side of the shipping channel - Gum Thickets- in 80 feet of water. Rainy days are better! Caught around 1:30 pm on Sat Dec 6.